2 Fast 2 Furious > The Fate of the Furious > Fast 5 > The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift > Fast & Furious
I guess we're now somewhere in the middle of the distinctiveness spectrum: suggestive?
".so was available"
After ten years of living in SF, I finally made it up to the summit of San Bruno Mountain.
San Bruno Mountain is near the southern border of San Francisco and it separates the city from South San Francisco and Colma. It was a clear day and we had fantastic views from the top – we could a sweeping panorama that included downtown SF, Oakland and easy bay, Mount Diablo, and a good chunk of south bay. The western half of SF and much of Daly City and Colma were shrouded in fog but that just added to the view.
We started from a parking lot halfway up the mountain (at Guadalupe Canyon Parkway and Radio Road) and climbed the Summit Loop Train to the top. It was a nice 30min hike up and started out with a small forest and then wove through a series of valleys and overlooks before reaching the radio towers at the summit where we had spectacular views.
Next time I’ll aim for a clear day where I can see the Pacific side of the peninsula and I also might try hiking the ridge trail all the way east to where it looks over Highway 101.After ten years of living in SF, I finally made it up to the summit of San Bruno Mountain.
I’m hosting a yo-yo meetup in San Francisco next weekend in Dolores Park. The meetup will probably run from 2-5pm and we’ll be near the center of the park.
BTW, I made this flier using The Print Shop, an emulator of a classic Apple II printing program.
Since this blog is powered by WordPress, I thought it would be cool to test out Automattic’s new Sketch Block. This is a Gutenberg block you can install that allows you to create a drawing using your mouse or stylus. Here is the result:
If you are viewing the post on DocPop.org, you probably see some pink and blue lines, that is because the Sketch Block doesn’t fill in the background. A lesson I learned the hard way. (update: if you are viewing this post via RSS, the sketched image won’t show up at all). I’ve also captured a screenshot and used that as the featured image at the top of the post.
I tested out the Sketch App on my laptop, but it really works best when used with a stylus. For this experiment I used an iPad with an Apple Pencil. My biggest thoughts are:
For more information, check out this clip from last week’s Torque Social Hour, where I tested the Sketch Block out and shared my feedback. Segment starts at 33:20.
on the right: holding onto the tick so if my health takes a bad turn, we can take the tick in for testing to figure out what I might be dealing with
and to commemorate the bug-laden week, here's a temp tattoo of a bug on my ankle
no rides for us because we saw Class Action Park
( ﾟдﾟ)つ Bye
Æthelred’s is a for-profit, non-accredited institution and players tell stilly stories about heroes going on quests in an attempt to earn certifications in specific adventuring skills.
The quest giver, quests, and certifications are all randomly generated, leading to adventures like: The Corrupt Mayor tasked you with Securing a Strategic Alliance and you must use this quest to demonstrate your skill in Interior Decorating.
We’ve had a lot of fun designing and playtesting it and we’d love to hear if you play it! Here’s the link again: https://storysynth.org/Games/Aethelreds-Academy/
During the pandemic there was a crazy demand for SPAM. I could still find plain SPAM and some generic versions, but I had to wait a full year before Safeway finally had some Bacon SPAM in stock again.
Now that I have it, you know I had to try making some bacon and eggs musubi.
Saw my old Chinese teacher from the ICLP program in the translation acknowledgments of an incredible piece of Taiwanese queer speculative fiction (The Membranes)
First Shabu-Shabu in a year and a half: https://www.springshabu.com/
Celebrated 4th of July by taking in a US anthem lip sync from Marti Allen-Cummings !!! Made all the more patriotic by the fact that Marti just ran a historic campaign for NY city council as the first non-binary candidate. (Coincidentally, Marti was the runner-up to winner Shaun Abreu whom I knew in college, congrats Shaun 🎉)
Not-so-little cousin headed to Columbia in the fall 🥳
the audacity of the caucasity
The Generator format for Story Synth is now live and it looks great!
This format is a collaboration with Raph D’Amico and he did an outstanding job on developing a handful of style templates: light, dark, cyberpunk, fantasy, and vaporwave. I’ll be adding these styles to other formats soon to make custom design that much easier!
The Generator format is inspired by generators like Perchance and, like all Story Synth formats, has realtime multiplayer built in and it doesn’t require any coding (just add your content to a Google Sheet).
I’m excited to see folks start developing with this format – let me know if you need any help or have any feature requests!
an early sight, driving into the city from LAX. the saddest, truest of LA welcomes
I'm superstitious FYI
Explaining Los Angeles is a kind of perpetual American enterprise, since its existence—it has little by way of water, or harbor, or history—is apparently so inexplicable.
I recorded a short video for my KnifeTank: The Shüffling backers on Youtube, but thought I’d share it here as well. Basically I have a ton of board games I’ve designed, but I’m not sure which one to release next.
Here’s a quick preview of an upcoming Story Synth format called Generator.
This format aims to take the ease of designing Story Synth games in Google Sheets and apply it to storytelling game generators. Generators are tools that let you create multiple lists of prompts and randomly grab one prompt from each list. Perchance is probably the most popular generator site at the moment and DNGNGEN is probably the high water mark for visual design for a one-off game generator.
The Story Synth generator will be purely powered by Google Sheets an allow designers to specify row layouts, color schemes (from templates or custom) and much more. It’ll also be realtime multiplayer, unlike the competition.
I’m collaborating with Raph D’Amico on this project and he’ll be spicing up the visual design. We hope to release it in the next week or two – stay tuned!
I was just thinking back to our trip to Bermuda a few years ago. Christine had just bought a great new yellow bikini with black polka dots and we were having a great time snorkeling. About 10 minutes in, we noticed a very friendly Sergeant Major fish had decided to swim with us. You can see it in the picture below.
We loved having this curious little fish join us on our exploration,but soon I noticed a sharp pain happening along my legs and torso. I looked down and noticed it was the Sergeant Major, taking little bites at me. I soon realized that he was probably attracted to Christine’s bikini, which was almost exactly the same colors as he was. He probably thought he found a mate!
first time in a theater in 15 months
left: god's creation; right: man's creation
have you ever heard of a dessert called a fool??
first time on the NYC subway in 15 months
She's a maniac, maniac on the floor, and she's dancing like she's never danced before
a day in my grandparents' garden: roses, strawberries, sweet potatoes, grapes, hydrangeas, a peter my grandparents grow sweet potatoes for their leaves! my grandma shaves the stalks with a razor (because they're too tough otherwise) and then stir-fries in oil and garlic and it's absolutely delicious and extremely nutricious 👩🍳🤤
trying to communicate how to use technology to seniors is a whole challenge, trying to communicate it across several language barriers is sisyphean (but I don't give up !!!)
龍須菜 (dragon’s whisker, Graciliaria), 黑椒牛柳 (sizzling beef filet in black pepper sauce), 台灣式炸排骨 (taiwanese fried pork chop), 客家筍乾燒肉 (Hakka-style braised pork belly with bamboo shoots), 清炒絲瓜 (stir fried loofah, my grandparents use the dried version as an actual cleaning loofah 🧽), 酸辣湯 (hot and sour soup)
ending the day in my film-noirest dreams
💀💀💀💀 + cute lil permanent retainer
no picture of the burrito because it was eaten immediately
a meal of everything absolutely doused in bacon fat
Left: got home and immediately drooled blood down my front; Right: a pic I don't remember taking in the recovery area. Happened to capture a sign that says "the taking of pictures and video recordings is strictly prohibited in this office. absolutely no cell phone use in the recovery area". oops
My 1D Chess game received a ton of shares and downloads last week. It was great seeing so many new people discover this bizarre chess variant. Somehow the game was featured on marginalrevolution.com, which is a wildly popular blog and a perfect match for my audience.
If you haven’t tried it yet, you can download and print your own 1D Chess game using the rules here
I also checked on the 1D Chess board on BoardGameGeek and saw someone had designed their own box for the game. Neat!https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/322734/one-dimensional-chess
In other game news, I’ve started working on The Lonely Dungeon some lately. A friend is playtesting a version now and I’m excited to hear his feedback.
Last week I released my first “plot guide” – Save the Galaxy, a supplement for Galactic 2e. This post will explore the design space of plot guides and why I’d love to see more of them.
When it comes to storytelling games, I love to weave fast paced plots that reach satisfying conclusions. This is especially true for single-session games where it can be fun to race through key story beats and wrap things up neatly by the end of play.
I’ve found that many games out there have phenomenal support for character creation and arcs, worldbuilding, and individual story beats yet have little to say when it comes to overarching plot.
When there’s a lack of plot support, there’s a risk that the story will meander and players won’t be sure exactly how to push the story forward. Sessions might end with the story just petering out. This is especially true for novice players who might also be focused on learning the rules.
First caveat – there’s no wrong way to play! I’ve played in wonderful sessions that were just focused on worldbuilding or character creation or exploring how characters interact with each other. That said, my personal preference is often for a strong narrative arc with a clear resolution and I often find this type of play unsupported.
Second caveat – I’m most focused on indie tabletop games and especially GMless games. Traditional games (like D&D) have plenty of pre-written adventures or rely on a GM to push the story forward.
I’d love to see a new category of game supplements: Plot Guides. These would walk players through a single session of the base game that hits specific narrative beats and tells a complete story.
Ideally these Guides would include:
I’ve just released my first Plot Guide: Save The Galaxy. It’s a supplement for Riley Rethal’s game Galactic 2e. Save the Galaxy guides the players through telling a tightly plotted one shot where a group of heroes foil a dastardly plot by The Mandate (an analog to The Empire in Star Wars).
Galactic 2e is a Belonging Outside Belonging (BoB) game that is heavily inspired by Star Wars. Like other BoB games, there’s no facilitator or dice rolling. Players share responsibility for representing the different elements of the setting in play, as well as the actions of the non-player characters.
Galactic does a great job of supporting character creation and character arcs, through evocative character sheets and moves (actions). However, there isn’t direct support for telling tightly plotted single-session stories – and that’s not the game’s intention.
With Save the Galaxy, my aim is to help any group of players take the strong character sheets and setting pillars from the Galactic Playkit and quickly tell a story with a complete narrative arc. It’s free and only three pages, so I recommend you give it a quick look!
Here’s a breakdown of what’s in it:
And that’s all! My hope is that it’s easy to use at the table and provides plenty of structure without being too constricting. If you end up trying it out, I’d love to hear how it goes.
I’d love to see a wave of Plot Guides made for a diverse array of games. I could see them working well for a number of systems beyond Belonging Outside Belonging and they could work well in games with facilitators, too.
I’ve licensed Save the Galaxy under a Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 license which means you can share and remix as much as you’d like. I think there’s room for plenty of other Star Wars inspired story arcs beyond the one I created and I’d love to see what you come up with.
If you hack Save the Galaxy or make your own Plot Guides from scratch, let me know; I’d love to hear about it!
For a while, I was seeing plenty of adventure starters for Dungeon World, which would give a GM lots of fodder to start a session but not too much support toward finishing one. Dragonslaying on a Timetable is probably the closest I’ve seen to a plot guide and it definitely influenced my design of Save the Galaxy.
Larp, in general, is great for tightly plotted one shots. My own game Behind the Magic even has three acts with scene lists for each. There’s so much tabletop games can learn from larp and I’m excited to see more inspirations from larp show up in tabletop.
...and you can use a little something called GoFullPage (on Chrome or Edge) to take a screenshot of your entire questionnaire 😏 for safekeeping
Went to Half Moon Bay to visit family today and had a great time. Of course I brought a yo-yo.The yo-yo I’m using in that video is a Day Tripper, which will be available on DoctorPopular.com this Tuesday, June 15th, at 9am PDT. It’s an incredible slimline responsive yo-yo. Day Tripper